Politics

Gov. Brown Orders 48K State Cell Phones To Be Turned In

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File photo of confiscated cell phones seized from California inmates.

File photo of confiscated cell phones seized from California inmates.

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — As part of deep state spending cuts, Gov. Jerry Brown has ordered state agency department heads to collect and turn in 48,000 government-paid cell phones by June 1, 2011.

“It is difficult for me to believe that 40 percent of all state employees must be equipped with taxpayer-funded cell phones,” the Governor said. “Some state employees, including department and agency executives who are required to be in touch 24 hours a day and seven days a week, may need cell phones, but the current number of phones out there is astounding.”

The phones account for half of the government-issued phones now being used by state employees, according to a press release sent Tuesday from Brown’s office.

Contract obligations could make it difficult to eliminate all of the phones by the June 1 deadline.

“Because of contract obligations, it is possible that we may not be able eliminate all 48,000 cell phones by June 1, but it is also conceivable that we can do it earlier – and that is my hope,” Brown said.

Brown says he believes the state can continue to cut cell phone costs throughout the year.

It is anticipated that the state will save $20 million by eliminating the phones.

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